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rock was on the outer edge of the whirlpool, which | sometimes washed the bases of the sandy hills, at a caldron of foam swept round and round in circling other times meandered between low banks, genereddies. Yet below were two fierce rapids, each ally fringed with trees and fragrant with blossoms. about 150 yards in length, with the points of black Some points presented views exceedingly picturrocks peering above the white and agitated surface. esque-the mad rushing of a mountain torrent, the Below them, again, within a mile, were two other song and sight of birds, the overhanging foliage rapids-longer, but more shelving, and less diffi- and glimpse of the mountains far over the plain, and here and there a gurgling rivulet pouring its tribute of crystal water into the now muddy Jordan; the western shore was peculiar from the high calcareous limestone hills which form a barrier to the stream when swollen by the efflux of the Sea of Galilee during the winter and early spring; while the left and eastern bank was low and fringed with tamarisk and willow, and occasionally a thicket of lofty cane, and tangled masses of shrubs and creeping plants, gave it the appearance of a jungle. At one place we saw the fresh track of a tiger [leopard?] on the low clayey margin, where he had come to drink. At another time, as we passed his lair, a wild boar started with a savage grunt, and dashed into the thicket; but for some moments we tracked his pathway by the shaking cane, and the crashing sound of broken branches.
Fortunately a large bush was growing upon the left bank, about five feet up where the rush of the water from above had formed a kind of promontory. By swimming across some distance up the stream, one of the men had carried over the end of a rope, and made it fast around the roots of the bush. The great doubt was whether the hold of the roots would be sufficient to withstand the strain, but there was no alternative. In order not to risk the men, I employed some of the most vigorous Arabs in the camp to swim by the side of the boats, and guide them if possible clear of danger. Landing the men, therefore, and tracking the Fanny Mason up stream, we shot her across; and gathering in the slack of the rope, let her drop to the brink of the cascade, where she fairly trembled and bent in the fierce strength of the sweeping current. The birds were numerous; and at times, when It was a moment of intense anxiety. The sailors we issued from the shadow and silence of a narrow had now clambered along the banks, and stood at and verdure-tinted part of the stream into an open intervals below, ready to assist us if thrown from bend where the rapids rattled and the light burst in, the boat and swept towards them. One man with and the birds sang their wilderness song, it was, to me in the boat stood by the line; a number of use a similie of Mr. Bedlow, like a sudden tranArabs were upon the rocks and in the foaming wa-sition from the cold, dull-lighted hall, where gentleter, gesticulating wildly, their shouts mingling with the roaring of the boisterous rapids, and their dusky forms contrasting strangely with the effervescing flood, and five on each side, in the water, were clinging to the boat, ready to guide her clear of the threatening rock if possible.
The Fanny Mason, in the mean while, swayed from side to side of the mad torrent like a frightened bird, straining the line which held her. Watching the moment when her bows were in the right direction, I gave the signal to let go the rope. There was a rush-a plunge-an upward leap, and the rock was cleared-the pool was passed! and half full of water, with breathless velocity, we were swept safely down the rapids. Such screaming and shouting! The Arabs seemed to exult more than ourselves. It was in seeming only. They were glad-we were grateful. Two of the Arabs lost their hold, and were carried far below us, but were rescued with a slight injury to one of them.-Pp. 189, 190.
The following, which is one of the best descriptions, has reference to an earlier portion of the river's course, about one third from the lake of
For hours in their swift descent the boats floated down in silence-the silence of the wilderness.
men hang their hats, into the white and golden saloon, where the music rings and the dance goes on.-Pp. 212, 213.
The passage of the river was accomplished without any real opposition from the neighboring Arabs-all hostile demonstration being apparently held in check by the manifest strength of the party. Some friendly intercourse, indeed, took place at different points. We observe generally that the explorers, with their minds preoccupied with ideas of North American Indians, greatly underrate the position, character, and knowledge of the Arabs. Indeed, they are plainly called "savages;" but they are not savages, unless the patriarchal fathers of Scripture history were savages, which no one ever thought. This misapprehen
sion of the Arabs is, of course, exhibited in a still more exaggerated form in the narrative of Montague's sailor, whose less cultivated perceptions are still more obtuse. He ventures to say in one place that the Arabs wondered how the boats could walk the waters without legs!
All this that relates to the Jordan is new, valuable, and important. It is the real, great work of the expedition. We absolutely knew next to nothing
Here and there were spots of solemn beauty. The about the river between the two lakes before, exnumerous birds sang with a music strange and manifold; the willow branches were spread upon the cept just below where it leaves the upper lake, stream like tresses, and creeping mosses and clam- and just above where it enters the lower; but here bering weeds, with a multitude of white and silvery the whole river is set forth before us, and all the little flowers, looked out from among them; and mysteries connected with its course are completely the cliff swallow wheeled over the falls, or went at solved. For this, the commander is well entitled his own will, darting through the arched vistas, and shadowed and shaped by the meeting foliage on the to the gold medal by the Royal Geographical Sobanks; and above all, yet attuned to all, was the ciety, which we should hope will be awarded to music of the river, gushing with a sound like that him. In the Dead Sea, the additions to our of shawms and cymbals. There was little variety knowledge are less striking and important. The in the scenery of the river; to-day the streams lake had been viewed at nearly all points by differ
minute particulars and observations from day to day in the log-book, tends to create a habit of correctly observing and registering small details, but is perhaps unfavorable to the formation or cultivation of the faculty of generalization. On the other hand, there are men who can only
See things in the gross,
ent travellers; the comparison of whose statements | occasional generalizations of details, which the furnished a sufficiently correct idea of the figure reader of such a work is entitled to expect, and and directions of the lake, and of the peculiar phe- which, it might be thought, might have been nomena which it offers. In most respects, there- easily given as a general retrospect of the whole, fore, the business here was not to discover any- is the great defect of the book. Dr. Robinson, in thing new, but to verify previous accounts; and, his really great work on Palestine, after giving in most respects, all the accounts given by the the details of his explorations, pauses on every best of former travellers-especially such as sub- vantage-ground to survey the scene, and to state vert the old traditions of the lake-are abundantly the general effect and character of the whole. confirmed, and settled beyond all further doubt or But nothing of the kind is attempted by our auquestion. In fact, the navigation of the lake in thor, who seems to have been either ignorant of boats is not a new thing-it having been previous- this necessity, or to have lacked the skill to suply done by an Irishman, Costigan, and more re-ply it. The sea-custom of keeping an account of cently by an Englishman, Lieut. Molyneux, of H. M. S. Spartan. Indeed, the latter officer had also performed the same passage down the Jordan; and had he lived to impart to the public the fruit of his observations, the interest of the present expedition would have been forestalled, and its facts anticipated at all points. It is to the credit of Lieut. Lynch that he manifests a full consciousness of the claims of his predecessors. He even gives the name of Point Costigan to one of the points of the peninsula, towards the south of the Dead Sea, and of Point Molyneux to the other; and it is certainly not the least of our obligations to these officers, that their prior claims, in all probability, prevented these spots from being ornamented with the names of Fanny Mason and Fanny Skinner, if not of Uncle Sam. It is bad enough as it is, to see an ancient and a sacred soil thus desecrated with any modern and Frankish names. Dr. Robinson would have ascertained the native names of those places; and our explorers might, if they had chosen, have done the same, by the aid of so accomplished and excellent an interpreter as Mr. Ameuny. We hope this sort of folly will end here. It is quite enough that the geographical nomenclature of half the world is ruined by this frightful bad taste, without the sacred land itself being exposed to the same deep abasement.
Being much too gross to see them in detail.
One of this sort is Montague's sailor, who, being incapable of following the observations of his commander, and being, as it seems, only partially acquainted with other than the most obvious results, states general impressions rather than particulars; and we are not sure but that in this way he renders to the common reader the general effect of the whole much more effectively than his commander, whose account alone is, however, here of any scientific value. It has seemed to us, indeed, that this part of Montague's book is better done than any other. He here makes a most distinct impression, and, but for the egregious blunders into which he falls whenever stating what men know from reading, we might suppose that in this portion of the work he had access to better information than in other parts.
This writer does not lack power of observation; and his errors are mostly in those allusions to things in general," The expedition spent no less than twenty-two in which only a man possessed of assured knowl nights upon the lake. During this time the whole edge from reading and study, can be always correct. circuit of it was made, including the back-water We are not sure that the blunders made in alluat the southern extremity, which had never before sions of this sort-which are as plenty as blackbeen explored in boats. Every object of interest berries—and the disgust one feels at the vile slang upon the banks was examined; and the lake was which turns up every now and then, tends to crossed and recrossed in a zigzag direction through create an under-estimate of the truthfulness of its whole extent, for the purpose of sounding. many observations on matters that fall within the The figure of the lake, as laid down in the sketch-fair scope of an intelligent seaman's knowledge. map, is somewhat different from that usually given to it. The breadth is more uniform throughout; it is less narrowed at the northern extremity, and less widened on approaching the peninsula in the south. In its general dimensions it is longer, but is not so wide as usually represented. Its length by the map is forty miles, by an average breadth of about nine miles. The observations and facts, from day to day, are recorded in Lieut. Lynch's book; and it is by reading them that the reader must realize the impressions which the survey is designed to produce, for the author does not take the trouble to combine his results in one clear and connected statement; indeed, the want of these
The only passage in which Lieutenant Lynch attempts to furnish us with something like the result of his exploration is this:
We have carefully sounded the sea, determined its geographical position, taken the exact topography of its shores, ascertained the temperature, width, depth, and velocity of its tributaries, collected specimens of every kind, and noted the winds, currents, changes of the weather, and all atmospheric phenomena. These, with a faithful narrative of events, will give a correct idea of this wonderful body of water as it appeared to us.
From the summit of these cliffs, in a line a little north of west, about sixteen miles distant, is Hebron, a short distance from which Dr. Robinson found
the dividing ridge between the Mediterranean and | tion, we must hasten to complete the historical this sea. From Beni Na'im, the reputed tomb of notice of its incidents, by stating, that before Lot, upon that ridge, it is supposed that Abraham looked" toward all the land of the plain," and be- quitting the shores of the Dead Sea, the party held the smoke" as the smoke of a furnace." The made an excusion to Kerak, with the view prininference from the Bible, that this entire chasm was a cipally of affording the men an intermediate refreshplain sunk and "overwhelmed" by the wrath of God, ment from the close atmosphere of the lake. Here seems to be sustained by the extraordinary charac- there are about 1000 Christians kept in most opter of our soundings. The bottom of this sea con-pressive subjection by about one third of the numsists of two submerged plains, an elevated and a ber of Moslem Arabs, who live mostly in tents They have commenced builddepressed one; the last averaging thirteen, the for- outside the town. mer about thirteen hundred feet below the surface. ing a church in the hope of keeping all together, and as a safe place of refuge for their wives and children in times of trouble; but the locusts and the sirocco have for the last seven years blasted the fields, and nearly all spared by these distractions has been swept away by the Arabs. They furnished the party with the subjoined appeal to If there be a similar break in the water-courses to the south of the sea, accompanied with like volcanic the Christians in America, and which deserves to characters, there can scarce be a doubt that the be known in this country. whole Ghor has sunk from some extraordinary convulsion, preceded, most probably, by an eruption of fire, and a general conflagration of the bitumen which abounded in the plain. I shall ever regret that we were not authorized to explore the southern
Through the northern, and largest and deepest one, in a line corresponding with the bed of the Jordan, is a ravine, which again seems to correspond with the Wady el-Jeib, or ravine within a ravine, at the south end of the sea.
Between the Jabok and this sea, we unexpectedly found a sudden break-down in the bed of the Jordan.
Ghor to the Red Sea.
All our observations have impressed me forcibly with the conviction that the mountains are older than the sea. Had their relative levels been the same at first, the torrents would have worn their beds in a gradual and correlative slope; whereas, in the northern section, the part supposed to have been so deeply engulfed, although a soft, bituminous, limestone prevails, the torrents plunge down several hundred feet, while on both sides of the southern portion the ravines come down without abruptness, although the head of Wady Kerak is more than a thousand feet higher than the head of Wady Ghuweir. Most of the ravines, too-as reference to the map will show-have a southward inclination near their outlets; that of Zerka Main or Callirohoe especially, which, next to the Jordan, must pour down the greatest volume of water in the rainy season. But even if they had not that deflection, the argument which has been based on this supposition would be untenable; for tributaries, like all other streams, seek the greatest declivities, without regard to angular inclination. The Yermak flows into the Jordan at a right angle, and the Jabok with an acute one to its descending course.
There are many other things tending to the same
By God's favor!
May it, God willing, reach America, and be presented to our Christian brothers, whose happiness may the Almighty God preserve! Amen.
BEDUAH. Christians, and
We are in Kerak, a few We beg your excellency to help us in this underare building a church. taking, for we are very weak.
The land has been unproductive, and visited by the locust for the last seven years.
The church is delayed in not being accomplished rounded by Muslims. for want of funds, for we are a few Christians sur
This being all that is necessary to write to you, Christian brothers of America, we need say no
The trustees in your bounty.
ABD' ALLAH EN NAHAS, Sheikh. YAKOB EN NAHAS, Sheik's brother. Kerak, Jûmad Awûh, 1264.
These poor people behaved very well, as they always do, to our travellers; but from the Arabs of Kerak they were, on their return, threatened But this and with much danger-with greater danger, indeed, than had previously been known. all dangers passed, and the survey of the lake being soon after completed, the boats, no longer needed, were taken to pieces, and sent, with two camels' loads of specimens, to Jerusalem, whither the party itself followed by the route of Santa Saba. After some stay there they crossed the Nor was this without object or country to Jaffa. labor, a line of levels having to be carried, with the spirit level of the most recent and improved construction, (Troughton's,) from the chasm of the Dead Sea, through the desert of Jordan, precipices and mountain ridges, and down and The merit of this operacross yawning ravines, and for much of the time under a scorching sun." ation is assigned to Lieutenant Dale. The results are not stated, but are said to be confirmatory of the skill and extraordinary accuracy of the triangulation of Lieutenant Symonds.
At Acre the party divided, one portion proceedAs we have chosen a way of our own in which to state some of the other results of this explora-ing in a Turkish brig to Beirut, and the other re
turning across the country to Tiberias, by way of | may that it was found the Supply had not, accordNazareth. The object being from hence to following to appointment, arrived there to receive them the Upper Jordan to its source, our interest in the the rather as Mr. Dale and some of the men special objects of the expedition is revived. This became sick, and needed medical assistance. In part of the business is, however, passed but lightly a few days, however, they all recovered except over, there being no very new or very adventurous that able officer, who, after lingering a few weeks, work to execute, and, as it seems to us, the officers died of the same low nervous fever which had being but ill-informed as to the points which in carried off Costigan and Molyneux-the former this part specially demanded attention. explorers of the Dead Sea. He died at a village In his way up the shore of the lake of Galilee, twelve miles up the Lebanon, to which he had Lieutenant Lynch very modestly expresses an withdrawn, in the hope of being invigorated by opinion in favor of Tell Hum as the probable the mountain air. The afflicted commander, detersite of Capernaum, in preference to Dr. Robin-mined to take the body home, if possible, immeson's Khan Minryeh; and his return to the old diately started with it to Beirut. "It was a slow, ways we hail as a proof of his sound judgment. dreary ride, down the rugged mountain by twiIn respect of Bethsaida he is less fortunate, light. As I followed the body of my late com confounding the north-east Bethsaida with the western Bethsaida, as the city of Andrew and Peter. But mistakes of this sort swarm throughout the work. The chances being only a degree or two less in this work than in Montague's that we encounter a blunder in connection with every proper name that turns up. Between the two lakes the river hastens a rapid and foaming stream, between a thick border of willows, oleanders, and ghurrah. Of the lake Huleh nothing is added to our previous information, indeed, scarcely anything is said; and we are quite distressed to say that the commander does not seem to have been at all aware that it was an object of interest to ascertain whether the river from Hasbeiya, which, as the remoter source, must be regarded as the true Jordan, unites with the river from Banias before it enters the lake Huleh, or else reaches it as a separate and parallel stream. Not a word is said on this point, and there is no map or plan that might indicate the view taken of
The sources of the Jordan have been so often visited, and are so well known, that we could hardly expect much that is new on the subject. We certainly do not find anything that was not previously well known. Upon the whole, this exploration of the Upper Jordan is a failure altogether. But this is excusable from the unbent attention of men whose energies had of late been greatly overtasked, and who regarded the great objects of their undertaking as already accomplished.
The party proceeded to Damascus, and returned by way of Baalbek to Beirut. It was with dis
We note a few specimens. It is "Collingwood," and not Jervis, who is described as breaking the enemy's line at Cape St. Vincent. The prophet "Isaiah," and not Elijah, as resting under the juniper-tree in the wilderness. Reland is throughout "Reyland." "The Arab has no name for wine, the original Arabic word for which is now applied to coffee!" The truth being, that one of may Arabic words for wine is so applied. J. Robinson, D. D., of New York," for E. Robinson, D. D. "The
Chinese Kotan" for "Kotou." "Almeidan" for "At-
panion, accompanied only by worthy Arabs, and
There is much reason to apprehend that the
five; he was a man of fine appearance and elegant Lieutenant Dale had reached the age of thirtymanners, and was selected by Lieutenant Lynch to be his companion because of his experience in the exploring expedition under Captain Wilkes, and as an engineer, first in connection with the coast survey, and afterwards in Florida. His loss will doubtless be greatly felt in making up the report of the expedition, the end of which he was permitted to behold, but not to participate its fruits, nor to enjoy its rewards.
We grieve to add, from the preface of the volume before us-" His wife has since followed him to the grave; but in his name he has left a rich inheritance to his children." These are sad words, when we recollect the shortness of the interval between the return of the expedition and the appearance of this statement.
About a week after, being a full month after the return to Beirut, the party embarked on board a French brig for Malta, being tired of waiting longer for the Supply. At Malta they were joined by that vessel on the 12th September, and reembarking in her, sped homeward, reaching New York early in December, after an absence of something above one year.
Having thus traced the course of the expedition, we must return to offer the reader some remarks upon the Dead Sea, in connection with those researches concerning it which this American expedition may be regarded as having consummated.
The name of "Dead Sea" is not known in Scripture, in which it is mentioned by the various names of the East Sea, the Sea of Sodom, the Sea of the Desert, and the Salt Sea. In Jose
phus and the classical writers, it is known by the perfection; but there are others with which these name of the Lake of Asphaltites, from the great conditions agree well, and which will there yield quantities of bitumen it produced. Its current their fruits. There is not much evidence on this name doubtless originated in the belief that no subject to be found in travellers, who have seldom living thing could subsist in its waters. In the been there in the season of fruit. But our exincidental allusions to it in the Old Testament-peditionists found divers kinds of plants and for it is not named in the New-there is nothing shrubs in vigorous blossom, and which might to suggest a foundation for the statements which therefore be expected to yield their fruits in due have since been disproved; and all recent re-season. However, the general character of the search confirms the scriptural intimations. We shores is dismal, from the general absence of no sooner, however, get out of the Bible into the vegetation except at particular spots; and it must Apocrypha, than we are in the region of exag- be admitted that the exhalations and saline deposgeration and tradition. The author of the Wis-its are as unfriendly to vegetable life as the waters dom of Solomon, speaking of the cities of the are to animal existence. plain, says " Of whose wickedness even to this We suspect, however, that the writer of Wisday the waste land that smoketh is a testimony, dom, had in view those same famous apples of and plants bearing fruits that never come to ripe- Sodom, of which Josephus speaks as of a peculiar ness; and a standing pillar of salt is a monument product of the shores of this lake. "These fruits," of an unbelieving soul."-x. 7. Here are three says Josephus, "have a color as if they were fit points-smoke rising from the lake; plants to be eaten; but if you pluck them with your whose fruits will not ripen in this atmosphere; and the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife was turned.
hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes." So Tacitus: "The herbage may spring up, and the trees may put forth their blossoms, they may even attain the usual appearance of maturity, but with this florid outside, all within turns black, and moulders into dust." This plant has of course been much sought after by travellers. Hasselquist and others thought it the fruit of the Solanum melongena, or egg-plant, which is abundant in this quarter, but which only exhibits the required char
Now it must be confessed that this smoke was a very suitable incident for the imagination to rest upon. It was in keeping. It agreed with the doom in which at least the southern gulf of the lake originated, and suggested that the fires then kindled, and by which the guilty cities were consumed, still smouldered in the depths or upon the shores of the Asphaltic Lake. This smoke, how-acteristics when attacked by insects. But since ever, turns out to be no other than the dense mist from the active evaporation going on upon the surface, which often overhangs the lake in the morning, and is only dissipated as the sun waxes hot. This is frequently mentioned by our expeditionists. It is seen not exclusively in the morning:
At one time to-day the sea assumed an aspect peculiarly sombre. Unstirred by the wind, it lay smooth and unruffled as an inland lake. The great evaporation enclosed it in a thin transparent vapor, its purple tinge contrasting strongly with the extraordinary color of the sea beneath, and where they blended in the distance, giving it the appearance of smoke from burning sulphur. It seemed a vast caldron of metal, fused but motionless.-P. 324.
The idea of fire, which is connected with that of smoke, may in part also have originated in the intensely phosphorescent character of these heavy waters by night. We are not certain that this has been noticed by any other than the present travellers.
The surface of the sea (says Lieutenant Lynch) was one wide sheet of phosphorescent foam, and the waves, as they broke upon the shore, threw a sepulchral light upon the dead bushes and scattered fragments of rock.
Then there are the fruits which will not ripen. It is evident that there are many plants to which the saline exhalations and intense heat of the deep basin of the Dead Sea must be uncongenial, and which will therefore scarcely bring forth fruit to
Seetzen and Irby and Mangles, there has been no
the shreds of the rind and a few fibres. It is in-